Founding of Thebes
Cadmus, a Phoenician king, was the mythical founder of the city; the myth has it that after getting advice from the Oracle of Delphi, he had to follow a cow and build a city wherever the animal would stop. After it stopped, Cadmus decided to sacrifice it to the gods and asked his men to get some water from a nearby spring, which was guarded by a dragon. The dragon killed most of his men, before it was slain by Cadmus. Advised by Athena,Cadmus sew half of the dragon's teeth, and armed soldiers sprang out of the ground, theSpartoi. Cadmus threw a stone among them, who confused about who had done it, started fighting each other. Only five survived, who helped Cadmus build Thebes.
One of the most prominent sagas of Greek mythology that took place in Thebes was the story of Laius, and everything that resulted from his deeds. Although he was the rightful heir to the throne, it was usurped by Amphion and Zethus. Laius found refuge in the court of Pisa in the Pelopponese, where King Pelops warmly welcomed him. He then raped and abducted Pelops' son, Chrissipus, and went back to Thebes, where he was restored to the throne. Later, he married Jocasta, but he received an oracle that he should not have a child or the child would kill him and marry his wife. However, one night he was so drunk that he slept with Jocasta and impregnated her with Oedipus. The story of Oedipus also takes place in the city of Thebes.
Seven Against Thebes
It was also the location in which the seven champions who were killed fighting against Thebes after the fall of Oedipus, the king of that city. When Oedipus, King of Thebes, realized he had married his own mother and had two sons and two daughters with her, he blinded himself and cursed his sons to divide their inheritance (the kingdom) by the sword. The two sons, Eteocles and Polynices, in order to avoid bloodshed, agreed to rule Thebes in alternate years. After the first year, Eteocles refused to step down, leading Polynices to raise an army of Argives (captained by the eponymous Seven) to take Thebes by force. This is ensued the sack of Thebes.